employment

In the Public Sector, Volunteers and Interns are not Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broadly allows public employers to accept services from "volunteers." Volunteers are defined as individuals who perform services for a public agency "freely and without pressure or coercion direct or implied from the employer … for civic, charitable or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for their services." However, volunteers can be reimbursed for their expenses, receive reasonable benefits, a nominal fee or any combination of these without losing their status as a volunteer.

Words Matter: A Look at Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

"You mean I can't say that?"
"She's just too sensitive!"
"That's not what I meant."

It's likely that at one time or another you, or someone you know, has heard these words from a coworker or supervisor. What you may not have realized, however, is that the speaker could be breaking the law.

Evaluations and Feedback Help Employees and Managers All Year Long

The start of a new year makes many of us consider making resolutions. But it's never too early, or too late, for managers to reflect on an employee's performance over the past calendar year and to set goals for their departments and employees by looking at results from last year. When taking some time to be reflective, managers should be asking themselves the following fundamental questions as they look back on the previous year: How did I do? How did my team perform? Was my department under, over, or within its budget? What did our customers say about us in 2012?

Leave Policies: Personnel Plan Versus State, Federal Laws

Both state and federal laws govern an employee's ability to take time away from work. These include, but are not limited to, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Law (RSA 281-A), New Hampshire's maternity leave statute (RSA 354:7,VI(b), the New Hampshire law governing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees (RSA 354-A:7, VII), and the state Crime Victim Leave (RSA 275:62).

FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation: How the Laws Interact

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is an updated version of one that appeared in the Fall 2010 edition of LGC's A Matter of Trust—Leading the Way newsletter on the same topic.

A Healthy Workplace: Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

A healthy workplace is a shared responsibility between the employer and the employee. Not only are the physical, emotional and mental health of individual employees at risk in a stress-filled workplace, but the organization also faces risks when stress levels stay elevated. According to a 2006 study by HR.com, a website devoted to human resources concerns, stress costs United States businesses more than $300 billion annually.

Dealing with Personnel Issues: You Don't Have to Go It Alone

By Barry Cox

Whether you work for a county, municipality, school or other local governmental agency, your supervisory job likely finds you confronted with the sometimes difficult task of managing people.

Hiring, Handbooks and Handling Discipline
Hiring people is often considered one of the more pleasant tasks of a manager. But even that task can be like walking through a mine field. Consider the following questions before your next hiring process begins:

Drug and Alcohol Testing of Municipal Employees

How far may employers go to guarantee a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace? The answer, surprisingly, depends upon whether the employer is a private organization or a governmental entity, who is being tested and how the tests are performed.

A Potpourri of Frequently Asked Legal Questions

This month’s Q&A represents a departure from our usual single topic format. The staff attorneys of LGC’s Legal Services and Government Affairs Department answer thousands of questions each year posed by local officials from towns and cities both large and small. Following are some of those questions on various topics that we hope you will find useful to your work as a local official.

Town Managers vs. Town Administrators: What’s the Difference?

It would be hard to imagine any board of selectmen that could operate efficiently and effectively without the assistance of capable administrators and office staff. Selectmen are called upon to make many important decisions as they “manage the prudential affairs" of the town, and to do so, they often turn to town managers and town administrators to assist them.

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